Polar Plungers return to Lake Mendota Feb. 23

While one Polar Plunger quickly breaks into a vigorous backstroke, the rest of the team is a bit more cautious about entering the icy water at Lake Mendota during the 2018 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23. (Reporter photo by Jennifer Sommer)

Annual event raises money to help support Special Olympics of Illinois

MENDOTA – A “winter waterfest” - the 2019 Polar Plunge at Lake Mendota - will return to town on Saturday, Feb. 23. Presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run and GEICO, this is a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics of Illinois by jumping into the icy water of Lake Mendota.

Regardless of the temperature on Feb. 23, the brave participants will be able to make a spectacular splash for the crowd while supporting a worthy cause. In order to earn that privilege, each Plunger is required to raise $100 from friends, family and co-workers.

Check-in for the third annual plunge at Lake Mendota will take place from at 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. inside the Mendota Civic Center. Plunges will start at noon. Participants are encouraged to add to the fun by dressing in costume and they are also welcome to form teams. (Teams must consist of at least five plungers.) Banners and signs are also welcome.

All Polar Plunge participants are required to collect a minimum of $100 in donations. This includes members of a team who must each raise the minimum of $100; all team members’ individual fundraising totals will then be merged to form a combined team total. Statewide, teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.

All plungers will receive an official Polar Plunge hooded sweatshirt (available on a first come, first served basis the day of the plunge; those who do not receive a sweatshirt that day will have one mailed to them later). Plungers will also receive an entry into the grand prize drawing for every $500 and $1,000 they raise.

The other incentive prizes include: $250 – choice of a 20-ounce Tumbler, Sideline Pom-Pom Beanie hHat or Slim Powerbank & Flashlight; $500 – Beach Towel, Barrel Light-up Bluetooth Speaker or SportTek 1/4 Zip; and $1,000 – Hardware Voyager Canvas Backpack, Columbia Steens Mountain Fleece Jacket or Pedre Zone Unisex Leather Strap Watch.

Plungers may register at www.plungeillinois.com. Registration must be completed by 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. For more information, contact Allison Nichols at (815) 220-8128 or [email protected]

People wishing to support a plunger with a monetary donation may also do so on the website.

This will be the 20th year of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge. In that time, more than $20 million has been raised by more than 72,000 plungers.

About Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $47 million over 32 years while increasing awareness of Special Olympics Illinois athletes and their accomplishments.

About Special Olympics Illinois

More than 23,000 Special Olympics athletes and more than 20,000 Young Athletes have benefited from the more than $20 million that has been raised by more than 72,000 Plungers since the event began 20 years ago.

The purpose is of Polar Plunge is simply to raise funds to enhance Special Olympics’ mission: To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families and other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call (800) 394-0562 or visit their website at www.soill.org.

For additional information and resources for plungers, visit www.soill.org/polar-plunge/.


Video News
More In Home